Many things embarrass me, but reading isn’t one of them. I’m not ashamed of my slightly weird collection of prison memoirs. Nor the flaky meditation books. After all, I can pretend I never read those.
You've read half the books in this house? This whole house?" "Well, approximately half." Sticky said. "To be more accurate, I suppose I've read more like" - his eyes went up as he calculated - "three sevenths? Yes, three sevenths." "Only three sevenths?" said Kate, pretending to look disappointed. "And here I was prepared to be impressed.
I don't see the use of reading the same thing over and over again,' said Phillip. 'That's only a laborious form of idleness.'But are you under the impression that you have so great a mind that you can understand the most profound writer at a first reading?'I don't want to understand him, I'm not a critic. I'm not interested in him for his sake but for mine.'Why do you read then?'Partly for pleasure, because it's a habit and I'm just as uncomfortable if I don't read as if I don't smoke, and partly to know myself. When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me; I've got out of the book all that's any use to me and I can't get anythning more if I read it a dozen times. ...
My mother used to read to me every night when I was little. We got through most of the major fantasy books of that time. The Narnia books by C.S. Lewis were my favorites and, later, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. I started making dolls to fill in the gaps of the dolls I had. Obviously we couldn't buy centaurs and fauns and elves and fairies, so I made them to play with the normal dolls I had. I must have been about six years old when I started making fantasy dolls.
[I]t is not hasty reading--but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower, which gathers honey--but her abiding for a time upon the flower, which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most--but he who meditates most, who will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.
Shockingly, too many of our children don't read to grade level. Studies show that if a child does not read to grade level by third grade, that child is likely to drop out of school. I believe the love of reading begins at home. We should do all we can to make sure that our children and grandchildren stay in school and graduate. Reading to grade level is an important foundation.
I haven't read much, but it still seems impossible to me that anyone, no matter how much he read, could've read every book in the world. There must be so many of them, and I don't mean every single book, good and bad, just the good ones. There must be stacks of them! Enough that you could spend twenty-four hours a day reading! And that's not to mention the bad ones, since there must be more bad ones than good ones, and at least a few of those, like anything, must be good and worth reading.
Girls say to me, very reasonably, 'why isn't it a bunch of girls? Why did you write this about a bunch of boys?' Well, my reply is I was once a little boy - I have been a brother, a father, I am going to be a grandfather. I have never been a sister, or a mother, or a grandmother. That's one answer. Another answer is of course to say that if you - as it were - scaled down human beings, scaled down society, if you land with a group of little boys, they are more ike a scaled-down version of society than a group of little girls would be. Don't ask me why, and this is a terrible thing to say because I'm going to be chased from hell to breakfast by all the women who talk about equality - this is nothing to do with equality at all. I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been. But one thing you can't do with them is take a bunch of them and boil them down, so to speak, into a set of little girls who would then become a kind of image of civilisation, of society. The other thing is - why aren't they little boys AND little girls? Well, if they'd been little boys and little girls, we being who we are, sex would have raised its lovely head, and I didn't want this to be about sex. Sex is too trivial a thing to get in with a story like this, which was about the problem of evil and the problem of how people are to live together in a society, not just as lovers or man and wife.
I don't know why we stopped reading together, but gradually we were not doing it regularly, and then without realizing it was happening we were reading different books, and gradually we came not to care about the book the other one was reading, because it was not the book we were reading, and we became bored and drifted off when the other one talked about his book. What we were doing, reading different books, was furnishing different rooms, constructing separate worlds almost, in which we could sit and be ourselves again. Of course those were rooms in which we each sat alone, and we gradually spent more and more time in them and less and less in the house we lived in together.